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Moving With Your Dog: Make the Transition Easier

A dog
Change is not your pet's best friend. Your dog may have never known a home other than your own. And changing their primary living space isn't an adjustment that a dog will always make easily. Whether you're moving across town or across the country, helping your canine companion feel comfortable in their new home is your job as a pet parent.

Even though your dog may feel stress during and after the move, that doesn't mean you have to. Making the transition seamlessly may be a bit of a stretch. But you can smooth the change and soothe your pet with a few tips and tricks. Take a look at the ways you can plan ahead, help to lower your pup's move-related anxiety, and make the move easier for everyone involved.

Visit Your Vet Before the Move

Moving is a complicated process that takes time, energy, and plenty of planning. On the days leading up to your move, you'll be busy coordinating trucks, reviewing last-minute details, and much more. Don't leave your veterinary care out during this busy time.

You want your pup to be in the best shape possible before moving. The healthier your pet is, the less the stress may affect them (this isn't to say that stress can't impact a healthy pet too). You'll also want to have all of the records necessary for your move. This may include a veterinarian's health assessment and a vaccination record/tags - especially if you're boarding your dog or staying in a hotel during the move.

The vet can also make sure that your pet has any necessary medications, is up to date on their heartworm protection, and has had a flea and tick treatment.

Prepare for the Drive/Flight

A long-distance move requires your pet to go for a lengthy car ride or fly to a new city/state in a plane. Before you take your dog on a plane, you may need to provide proof of vaccination. This makes the pre-move vet visit absolutely essential. Keep the records handy, storing them in your carry-on for easy access.

If you're driving to your destination, make the move as comfortable as possible. Keep plenty of fresh water and food in the car for your dog to drink and eat during rest stops. Never leave your dog alone in the car while stopped. If you must go into a restaurant or another public establishment that doesn't allow pets, switch off outdoor dog-sitting duties with another adult family member or friend who is traveling with you. 

Introduce Your Dog Gradually

It's tempting to let your dog loose in the new house. But this might overwhelm your furry friend. Instead, gradually introduce your dog to the new space. Start in one room, such as the bedroom or another room where your dog will spend plenty of their time. Allow them to sniff the area, adjusting to the new smells and sights.

Keep a few of your dog's favorite toys handy, either in your purse or a carry bag, and leave them in the room until your dog feels settled. As your dog starts to adjust to the new room, bring them out into the rest of the house. How long this takes will depend on your dog's temperament. Give your pup the space they need to explore the environment, but stick nearby for support.

Stay Safe

Whether your dog is a known flight risk or not, keep your dog safe in a locked room or on a leash during the move itself. Don't count on the movers to stop your dog from running out the front door and into a strange neighborhood that they don't know.

Do you need a pre-move vet appointment for your dog? Or do you need a new vet after moving? Contact Erickson Veterinary Hospital for more information.